There are other therapeutic uses of BOTOX® besides its aesthetic applications. In fact the aesthetic application of BOTOX® was noticed by chance as an effect of one of its medical uses. Although BOTOX® Cosmetic is relatively new to the scene, BOTOX® (non-cosmetic) has actually been around for quite a long time as a trusted therapeutic procedure for other disorders. In the early 1980’s an American ophthalmologist had discovered the use of BOTOX® for its ability to help treat crossed-eyed (Strabismus) children and other facial spasms. From there a Canadian ophthalmologist in the 1990’s recognized its ability to eliminate or minimize wrinkles around her patients' eyes while treating their ophthalmic conditions. BOTOX® and BOTOX® Cosmetic are both prescription medicines that contain the same active ingredient, onabotulinumtoxinA . Therefore they work in the same manner, by decreasing muscle activity in the region that it was injected. Usually BOTOX® is injected into areas where there is an overstimulation of nerve impulses being sent to the muscle to cause spasms (excessive muscle contractions).
Currently BOTOX® has the following indicated medical uses:
- Prophylaxis of headaches
- Treatment of upper limb spasticity
- Treatment of cervical dystonia
- Treatment of severe axillary hyperhidrosis
- Treatment of blepharospasm
- Treatment of strabismus
- Treatment of urinary incontinence & overactive bladder symptoms
Blepharospasm is a condition where involuntary and excessive eyelid clenching and twitching occur in one or both eyes. Left untreated blepharospasm can cause more forceful and uncontrolled eyelid movement to the point where the eyelids are unable to re-open and subsequent functional blindness can occur. Indicated for individuals that are over the age of 12, BOTOX® is injected for the treatment of abnormal spasms of the muscles around the eyes.
Also a condition that affects the muscles around the eyes, strabismus is a condition where the eyes improperly align with one another and look in different directions. Since the eyes are not looking at the same object at the same time visual impairments such as depth perception and/or double vision can occur. It can also be referred to as “crossed eyes” or “wall eyes” depending on how one or both of the eyes are situated. BOTOX® works by gaining back coordination in pairs of muscles that control eye movement.
Severe Primary Axillary Hyperhidrosis
Hyperhidrosis in the underarms is characterized by 4-5 times more sweating than normal. It can be exacerbated by stress, emotion and/or physical exercise and even spontaneously. BOTOX® treats severe primary focal axillary hyperhidrosis by blocking the chemical signals that are sent to the sweat glands.
BOTOX® is used to treat overactive bladder and the symptoms associated with it such as the need to urinate often, and the need to urinate urgently. Urinary incontinence is when the bladder involuntarily contracts and subsequently the individual is unable to hold in urine and leakage can occur unexpectedly and frequently.
To meet the definition of a chronic migraine sufferer, it is an adult who receives headaches that last longer than 4 hours, and receives headaches for more than 15 days out of the month. Other side effects of chronic migraines can sprout, such as depression, and can affect mood, sleep and eating habits. BOTOX® is indicated for use in adults, to help prevent headaches in those individuals over the age of 18 who suffer from chronic migraines.
Upper Limb Spasticity
Muscle stiffness in wrist, elbow, and fingers can be seen in patients who have suffered a stroke, brain injury or spinal cord injury. BOTOX® can help relieve muscle spasms that cause muscle rigidness in the upper limbs.
For those who are over 16 years of age BOTOX® when injected into the indicated areas of the neck can help alleviate neck pain and abnormal head positioning due to wry neck or cervical dystonia. Cervical dystonia is a neurological disorder that whereby involuntary muscle movements cause twitching and repetitive neck/head movements. BOTOX® Cosmetic is usually administered in smaller doses than BOTOX® and since it is for aesthetic purposes it is not covered by private insurance.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a registered trademark of Allergan. Inc.
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